In 1997 I applied for a divorce, believing that my son would always remain in my care, that the house would be sold equally to enable both parties to separate and lead separate lives amicably. In order to get away from my ex-husband I moved out of the matrimonial home and to an area where there would be no contact and made contact with a solicitor who applied for legal aid on my behalf. Unfortunately the outcome of the case became more complicated once my ex-husband was made aware of my new address. Because I would not comply by what he wanted, ie he wanted the proceeds of the matrimonial home in his family name, without wanting to buy me out properly, etc, and that he was going to take my son off me, he called the police on me stating that I was the one using threatening behaviour and whereby I now have to contribute to the legal aid funding under a registration against the matrimonial home which was later defined that it was my mental disorder that was contributing to a complication in the case. A violation and misconduct and that I now have no access to the matrimonial home, unless my ex-husband approves of the sale or the choice to buy me out and where my son has been resident in his care, now for the last 9 years. The court hearings ran to and fro for a number of years from 1997 and in the meantime I suffered severe breakdowns that lead to several hospitalisations under the mental health act and diagnosed with someone suffering with bipolar effective disorder. Attendance of court hearings were constantly on-going to try and get my son back and where mediations were constantly being reviewed and ordered. However, in 2005 I became highly and physically unwell and could no longer attend those continued court hearings and although I notified the courts that I had become very unwell, the hearings were continued and held without me and my ex-husband and his solicitors were again awarded with full residence of my son, as well as being warded the continuation of the matrimonial home for himself and his family. which I believed I would have to be in attendance for those decisions to be made. Although 9 years has passed and still having problems with severe side effects and with continued misleading diagnoses of now pschizophrenia etc which is still on going even after all these year, what I would like to know now is would there be any outstanding issues within the courts for not attending the last 6/7 hearings 9 years ago, where do I stand with my ex-husband who constantly manipulates the hearings in his name. I see no point in requesting further court room aid or assistance as I did in 1997, and need to find out if there were any court proceedings or injunctions laid against me either during that period time in 2005 up until this present day, particularly whilst I was unable to attend the last hearings, and what actual action can I take to clear my name once and for all, taking into consideration that I get absolutely no where under the mental health act, other than the past events all being in my head, that it is part of my illness, and that I have no choice but to comply by the diagnosis and illness.
My son is now16 and court orders were made in my absence for further hearings which I could not attend due to ill health and continued without my presence, which I did not think would be allowed, until I was fit to attend those hearings again. A final hearing which was submitted in September 2005 but no details were provided of that hearing. As far as I am aware the only contact I have is by telephone and it is the only method where I can keep in touch with my son. I also send him cards on a regular basis with pocket money and to aid him with school uniform. I also send him Christmas and birthday gifts. There was police involvement in these hearings where I believed that my son was being severely neglected, and whilst mediation had reported to the courts that if he did not suffer already my son would suffer emotional abuse in his fathers care, but no action was ever taken against my ex-husband on the basis that there was insufficient evidence. The last time I saw my son, his face was all bruised and his body was trembling and shattered. I spent a year with the commissioners to try and get him back but with no success and it was they who I last saw in the court room. But the interaction of these people was too much where I did not know which way to turn anymore and suffered a severe breakdown after all my contact rights were refused. That is the only information I have, apart from being allowed telephone contact which as far as I am aware is still closely monitored by my ex-husband.
On raising the question with the courts no so long ago, I was notified that the residence order in my ex-husbands name would continue until my son was 18 and that of adult age. I have explained to my son that whilst the courts failed both of us, that the court warrant would remain in his dad's care until that age and that when he was 18, he would then be free to live his life as he wanted. He has already planned to go to college and university so I know his studies have given him a good start in life, even though I had no say in his education, ie he was appointed into an all boys grammar school, where there was natural mix of both sexes, and being raised by two brothers and a mother I have always been concerned that this was not actually the correct choice, but my hands constantly tied. I have mentioned to my son that during school holidays, if he did want to see me, then I am always available, but because of the court orders it would always have to be with dad's permission. On talking to my ex-husband his excuses are 'no, because of school', and that is what my son now recites himself. What I want to know is once the age of 18, will my ex-husband still have the power over my son and I, and why would the courts have said 18 and not 16. And now I'm questioning the correct consent of the court order.
Unfortunatley my ex-husband and his family allow me no contact with my son and have not done so for 9 years. Any conversation with my son is normally monitored and therefore I keep very short. On the odd occasion my son can be very chatty, but otherwise he does not say an awful lot. Contact would be the first initial stage, but whilst my ex-husband has such a decent solicitor where they point the finger all the time, I never get anywhere with them. I have always been with solicitors who never seem to know how to fight back and I have always been told to keep things reasonable, and to stay on the side of the courts. But being soft and none finger pointing I got absolutely no where with this case. One rule for me, and a totally different rule for my ex-husband. My son did want to live with me all those years ago, but the professionals were not willing to listen, and my son was being torn to shreds. No more than they would listen to me either. I am not willing to put us through that again. I have now accepted that we will have to wait until he is 18, where he has decided to go to college and university, and I am quite happy with those plans. What I do not want is my ex-husband and his family, believing that they have a hold over us still. And that is mainly what I am querying. Once my son is 18 will we then be free from them.